Ain't It Cool News (

"Crusade" picture gallery ((extremely image intensive, no spoilers)) !!!

The title card for Crusade. It's the first thing you see in the series' title sequence.

Glen here...

...with a sneak peek at some imagery from an episode of the Babylon 5 spin-off series Crusade.

Previously, Coaxial had run reviews of two rough cut episodes of Crusade. One of the episodes reviewed was called "Racing the Night". Said rough cut did not have any visual effects in place, no final score had been incorporated into the episode, etc. It was...simply...a "work in progress".

Well, last night Coaxial & Company had an opportunity to view the finished product of "Racing the Night". This means we saw the episode with the score completed, all FX integrated into episode. The title sequence was there, the end credits were there, the whole shebang was there.

For a variety of reasons, Coaxial will not be reviewing this "final cut" episode this week. A primary factor in this decision is, simply, I won't have time to sit down and write a review for quite a few days. Secondarily, I would like to see a little bit more of Crusade before solidifying & releasing my opinion about the show as a whole - a sentiment shared by other Coaxial perennials. But at this point in time, it seems likely that the review of this particular episode will be somewhat mixed.

None the less, we really wanted to get some image out there for the world to see. To give readers a sense of what to expect from Crusade. Also, I hope this serves as something of a morale booster to the many, many fans who are waiting on pins and needles for this series to find a home now that it has been thrown into a production freeze at TNT. I know there are a great many readers who have messaged me through e-mail and called me on the phone to express their profound concern regarding the show's fate. It's been good hearing from all of you.

At this point in time, the best response I have to such concern is a quote from a Crusade character named Galen: "There is always hope - only because it's the one thing no one's figured out how to kill yet."


I am probably pushing my luck by posting these pictures - this is the kind of thing the The Powers That Be generally don't appreciate very much at all. None the less, I really sense this is something the fan base needs right about now. My efforts are humble, the selection of imagery may not be the best, but it all comes from the heart - for whatever that's worth.

I would like to say thank you to ROBOGEEK and EL COSMICO for swinging into action on a moment's notice. Doing so enabled me make these screen grabs possible today. And thanks beyond thanks goes to the sources who made receiving this tape possible.

Robo, Cosmico, and I went out of our way to avoid spoiler images (FX related). We also had some trouble nailing the exact moment to capture in many of the scenes we were studying. There is so much movement in Crusade's effects, finding the perfect "beauty shot" (and having reflexes fast enough to grab it) was difficult at best. None the less, I think the following images will give least...a slight taste of things to come. But don't think shots like these are all Crusade has to offer. This episode had vast numbers of ships on-screen at one time, speeder-bike chases between & through skyscrapers, etc. Our meek attempt towards screen capturing can't possibly convey such things adequately, or give you a solid frame of reference from which to draw an educated conclusion about the quality of the FX themselves.

Now, I'm gonna try to short out the inevitable Cease And Desist order by making perfectly clear that:

Aint It Cool News / Coaxial News / Glen Oliver in NO way, shape or form claim *any* ownership over the images presented on this page. We don't own CRUSADE, all visual material presented on this page are copyright Warner Bros Television, Babylonian Productions, etc.

Ain't no way that's gonna work - but what the hell? On with the show...


The first seven images reflect credits from Crusade's opening title sequence:


The starship Excalibur flies overhead in the conclusion of Crusade's main title sequence. This shot is immediately followed by J. Michael Straczynski's "Created by" credit.

A "beauty shot" of Crusade's main starship, the Excalibur.
The brightly colored nebulae you see in the background - a frequent motif in the orignal Babylon 5 series - are few and far between this time around.
Note the densely packed starfields around the nebula, and in other shots herein. Sometimes, the stars in this series appear so densely packed (and distant) they almost look like clouds. If you remember the kind of blue-gray space featured in Disney's The Black Hole (a space which was bright enough to silhouette a ship against its ambiance) you start to get a fair sense of what Crusade's space looks like.

Excalibur's forward guns blaze in an effort to fend off swarms of alien "probes" (heavily armed "probes").

One of Excalibur's primary defensive cannons swings and locks into position to challenge the above-mentioned probe swarm.

Some of Excalibur's "Thunderbolt" fighter craft clear a path through Gideon's "sky". Excalibur also carries the more traditional "Starfurys" seen throughout B5.

"Thunderbolts" moving into position to attack a planetary target which endangers Excalibur. As Max Eilerson notes: "I believe that blowing it up is the usual solution to these things..."

Missiles away!

Galen's homonculus.


So there you have it, folks. Hope this was enjoyable and interesting to all of you. Hope it helps everyone to keep their heads up a little bit longer, until The Long Wait finally comes to an end.

A few weeks ago, it was anounced that the Official Babylon 5 Web Site ( would soon be posting the complete opening title sequence to Crusade. I don't know how the current shut down affects these plans (if it does at all), but you might wanna keep checking back there from time to time. One way or another, they should be available soon I should think.

For more specific info about (and an overview of) this particular episde of Crusade, CLICK HERE!

Questions? Comments? Praise? Ridicule ?
CLICK HERE to e-mail Glen

Or call:

(512) 347-1992

Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 10, 1999, 6:38 p.m. CST


    by SPE111

    Pretty cool images. That last one was kind shall I say, reminiscient of the new Jonny Quest (oh, the pain......must...not...kill...) Anyway, let's all hope that somebody get this show. If for no other resaon than to judge for ourselves. Lates.

  • Feb. 10, 1999, 6:50 p.m. CST


    by Serv

    Thanks guys, really. Seeing those images gave away nothing, and were still pretty damn cool!

  • Feb. 10, 1999, 7:47 p.m. CST

    crusade or wet dream

    by vynil boy

    This baby is heading straight for the proverbial shelf. We are going to have find something new to follow in the babylon universe. Joe and company are going to be heading for hill if they dont get back to work. I recommend a new cartoon series "GIDEON'S ANGEL". After all they want to do something with all those scripted episodes. Maybe an all animated crew since they will all be leaving. Foooood fooor thought.

  • Feb. 10, 1999, 8:20 p.m. CST

    ATTN: Coaxial--Thanks!

    by Jacob Corbin

    You were right...this *was* quite a "morale booster". These images are intriguing, to say the least, and seeing at least a few stills from the title sequence has helped make "Crusade" feel a lot more--for lack of a better word--*real* for me. And the presentation reflects well on you and your cohorts, as well; what I really appreciate about the Coaxial section, and one of its biggest contrasts with the Cool News, is the way you guys appear to have mastered the fine (and vanishing) art of teasing without unduly giving anything away.

  • Feb. 10, 1999, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Sci-Fi Channel

    by Lord_Darth

    Well as for me im glad this show got canned. A series set on this ppremis is completely B.S.... Ok now that ive went and got everyone pissed, hold up for a second. I loved B5 when it was on the air and I still watch an episode here and there on TNT. But when TNT got its ugly little foot in the door things just started changing. I mean come on look at the start of season 5 it was a suck fest. Now that TNT is completely gone why not come up with a totally new show set in the B5 Universe. A show with a better plot, one that wont get played out in 1 season anyway. _____The only way that Crusade is going to be on The Sci-Fi channel is as a dead series ala Earth 2.

  • Feb. 10, 1999, 9:41 p.m. CST

    TNT has NOTHING to do with Season 5

    by b5lurker

    I just had to reply after reading for the millionth time someone saying that TNT had anything to do with the Season 5 episodes. Joe has said many many times that Season 5 was exactly the way that he had originally conceived it in the beginning. It was a season that was about the building of the new empires after the Shadow War. I'm sorry people but empire building takes some time! I for one thought the quality of the stories in the 5th season were much better then a couple of seasons together! No there wasn't a lot of explosions and stuff, but there was just really good stories with the characters that we had seen for the previous 4 seasons (except for Claudia who was sadly missing). TNT had no influence on the types of episodes that aired in the 5th season, those were all planned out by Joe quite awhile back. TNT may have had some impact on way that Crusade changed in the beginning, but overall I think that it would have been positive changes (more money for one). I won't be sad that Crusade isn't on TNT, I will be much worse off if it doesn't air at all. Just needed get that out into the open!

  • Feb. 10, 1999, 9:48 p.m. CST


    by Savant

    Are you kidding? I guess many of you represent what Bonnie Hammer, senior vp programming of the Sci Fi Channel, calls the "cult fan base that prefers only programming with special effects and space ships." Though I think Coaxial has performed a nice service by posting these, they don't tell me anything about the important elements of good television: characterization, drama, intriguing plotlines, good acting. All these pictures told me is that (1) the logo is rather uncreative and amateurish (2) the opening title sequence is rather ordinary (3) there are space ships (surprise!) (4) there are starfields (surprise!) (5) Galen is rather goofy looking. (6) they are still trying to pawn Tracy Scoggins off on us with 2ND BILLING (sheesh) I guess I can't see what's worth getting excited about.

  • Feb. 10, 1999, 10:39 p.m. CST


    by JBardin

    The images are nice, and show promise, but that doesn't actually tell us anything about the series or the show. No plot overview? No spoilers here and there? Not even a one-sentence description of the episode? I hate to say this, but SFX do not a show make. If JMS is letting plot slide and SFX take the steering wheel of this puppy, I'm bailing out on this one. I want STORY, not CGI.

  • Feb. 10, 1999, 11:48 p.m. CST

    Those who are quick to judge...and a thanks to Glenn

    by Ivanava

    Thanks Glenn for making these pictures available. For those who seem glad of Crusade's current docking difficulties, I have a question. Why are you so quick to judge that Crusade has no merit when you have not even seen one episode? You acknowledge that Babylon 5 was light years ahead of other science fiction shows. Shouldn't we extend JMS and company a bit of faith and trust to make it happen. Faith that has been demonstrated by five years of Babylon 5 putting the wonder back into teevee, with fabulous writing, complex characters, and plots that take years to unravel. Trust that JMS will continue to bring us quality in science fiction. I'm not a fan of Chen's scoring of Call to Arms, but I am willing to give him a few episodes before I pass judgement on his composing and scoring ability. We should do the same for Crusade.

  • Feb. 11, 1999, 2:41 a.m. CST

    Thank you, but...

    by Paracelsus

    I can't decide whether those pictures are an act of extreme kindness or cruelty. Such is the nature of teasers I suppose. Oh well, thanks again for posting them.

  • Feb. 11, 1999, 5:02 a.m. CST

    With all due repect to Galen...

    by picka55

    Stalin, Hitler, Slobodan and any number of minor despots have done an excellent job of killing hope throughout the 20th Century. I realize this conflicts with the "greater message" of B5, but then I'm a conflicted fellow.

  • Feb. 11, 1999, 5:20 a.m. CST

    Blake's 7

    by Welsh

    Does anyone else think the excalibur looks kind of like the ship from Blake's 7 (only alot more realistic)

  • Feb. 11, 1999, 5:53 a.m. CST

    Re: Well((where to find more info on ep, from COAXIAL))

    by coaxial

    JBARDIN wrote:"The images are nice, and show promise, but that doesn't actually tell us anything about the series or the show. No plot overview? No spoilers here and there?" GLEN HERE! In reference to JBARDIN's (and other)posts. Damn it, people! Why do you think I put a link to the *review* of the roufgh cuts in this article (above the pictures, in the first or second paragraph)? If you go there, there's a lot of information about this episode...**Glen**

  • Feb. 11, 1999, 8 a.m. CST


    by landbote

    Glen, you weren't kidding when I talked to you the other night -- talk about a morale booster!!! I do have to say that the words "kick ass!" came out of my mouth when I saw the Excalibur in front of the nebula shot.

  • Feb. 11, 1999, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Thanks Glen

    by Colleen

    Thanks for these images. It does make the whole thing seem more concrete. I hope they get this series off the ground. I was disappointed to see Tracy Scoggins obviously so involved since I didn't appreciate her work on B5. Don't get me wrong - I met her and she is one neat lady, and anyone would be happy to hang out with her - it's her acting I'm talking about.

  • Feb. 11, 1999, 9 a.m. CST

    I noticed that, too Welsh

    by Arcanity

    The Excaliber does indeed resemble a theoretically updated Liberator from Blakes 7. I just wish this article was about about a new Blakes 7 - talk about a show that might make a decent revival! What is the latest unconfirmed Blakes 7 rumour anyway?

  • Feb. 11, 1999, 11:32 a.m. CST


    by Bronwynn

    I have been checking this and other sites for info since the problems with Crusade were announced. I would like to thank Glen and the Coaxial crew for keeping our spirits up and not letting this thing die. I also have gotten very tired of all the complaining and comment-bashing going on about all of this. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. My opinion is that we should trust JMS - he hasn't let us down before(no snide comments about this - it is MY opinion, yours may differ), and he won't now if there is anything he can do about it. I would love to see Crusade anywhere, and will find ways to see it wherever it plays. I really appreciate the pics - they look pretty cool, and I hope that we all get to see them. the thing to remember, for all B5 universe fans, is that Faith Manages. So let's just have faith, and e-mail the Sci-Fi channel to help that goal along. B5 was the best show on the TV for the last 5 years - we can only hope that Crusade will be the best for the next 5. I prefer to wait and make that judgement myself after seeing the show, rather than react now, basing my reaction on rumors and speculation. Give JMS a chance, and he will pull this off. And that is my opinion - yours may differ.

  • Feb. 11, 1999, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Will Crusade really get a chance?

    by Rather B. Skiing

    Glen, thanks for the images, but what I'd really like to know is how is the deal making coming along? Here is another thought to ponder that's been getting me down. It is my impression that the first few episodes of any show tend to be the weakest. The second season is generally better than the first (I can come with counter examples like "Wise Guy" where the first arc was the best) as the people that make the show figure out what works and what doesn't work. This was true of the first few episodes of TOS (they had to reshoot the pilot and the first few episodes are among TOS's worse), the whole first season of STNG & B5, and however long Voyager has been on the air (I still have hope that Voyager will improve). What's been getting me down is this - if Crusade starts off this shaky will it have enough time to improve to the great show I think it could be, or will it die after the first season doesn't live up to the suits (and our) expectations?

  • Feb. 11, 1999, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Getting the Word from jms

    by LeeW

    Straczynski has been somewhat silent during the last week or so, likely to not jeopardize any negotiations with the SFC (or whoever). He will be appearing at Gallifrey One in Van Nuys, CA this weekend (Sunday afternoon) and should have some comments on the current situation (as well as show some clips from Crusade). Check out their web page at Glen, where's the plug you promised? :)

  • Feb. 11, 1999, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Stars and Blakes 7

    by pixel

    Even more spooky than the (passing) resemblance between the excalibur and the liberator, is that Blake's 7 is notorious for having *extremely dense starfields* in places. Given the comments made about the exact same thing in Crusade, I'm pretty spooked... Its all a conspiricy ;-)

  • Feb. 11, 1999, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Blake's 7 and the new Crusade

    by orac_uk

    Given that JMS is a fan of Blake's 7, the Excalibur is a fine update of that cool B7 ship The Liberator. I wonder why JMS went for the grey exterior look as opposed to the original colour scheme which I felt looked alot better (in latest B5 Monthly). The pics look great, but it saddens me all the same that all that hard work could be lost forever. To make matters worse, there is talk of yet another lame Trek series!!!! What a depressing thought if that goes ahead and Crusade fails. It amazes me that some people on this website are ripping apart the basic thread of Crusade befor they have seen a single episode! These people are WASTERS!! How little faith you must all have, had it not occured to any of you that there may be a little more to Crusade than what You think???? I have no doubt whatsoever that JMS will deliver the twists and turns we have all come to expect. Are you all seriously expecting a new Trek series to be any better???!!!! These people really should stick to Trek. That little moan aside, the Beeb have sadly announced that they have "no plans to remake Blake's 7 for the forseeable future" But there is a radio play with the original cast released on CD this coming spring here in the UK. Let's all hope and pray that Crusade makes it through the Long Twilight Struggle. Oh, Digital Netter?? Too many stars! can we have more nebulas? The starscapes look a little too close Space Above and Beyond! Don't turn your back on the wonderful Hubble imagesOther than that, the pics make me want Crusade even more! Hang in there people!

  • Feb. 11, 1999, 10:26 p.m. CST

    Dense Starfields

    by SHADAIR

    Some backlot info. One thing that a lot of space-based visual effects lack is that thing we all see when we look up at sky on a clear moonless night. It's called the Milky Way - our own galaxy seen edgewise. A broad band of densely clustered stars. In deep space, the Milky Way is much more pronounced. It's one of the ways we're letting real science influence the look of Crusade. :-)

  • Feb. 11, 1999, 10:58 p.m. CST

    by Azyraphyle

    Where is all this pessimism coming from? Season Five was spectacular! The only thing that came close was seasons 1-4. Crusade seems to have a great plot, and some interesting characters. And maybe no Jurasik's or Katsulas' but Galen looks to be a great addition to the B5 universe, and I'm sure the others will be good too. If you're worried about mixed reviews of the show, or its shaky search for a home, remember what the first babylon five movie was like? It was not terrible, but compared to modern B5 it was pretty bad. And Babylon Five had to fight the long fight almost every season to stay on the air, but it managed to succeed, it seems likely that Crusade will pull through, and no matter how good or bad the show looks at this point, it will almost certainly be ten times as great by the second season. Glen, thanks for the pics!

  • Feb. 12, 1999, 1:18 a.m. CST

    Unfounded Negativity

    by Lord_Darth

    I would hardly say it is unfounded. With as much shit as this series has been through since its start that would go to show a little something. That maybe just maybe this series really sucks. I mean come on people TNT wouldnt just pull the plug on something that could make money unless they thought that it was impossible for the show to survive.

  • Feb. 12, 1999, 5:51 a.m. CST

    Lord Darth is Daft

    by orac_uk

    So, when Paramount pulled the plug on the original "classic" Trek way back in 1968, it was due to that series being "shit"??!!! Get a grip, read the facts... TNT wanted Crusade to be like a predictable Trek series, and they wanted artistic control. JMS winner of two Hugo's and a whole load of media awards said "f**k you, I'll take it eleswhere!"

  • Feb. 12, 1999, 9:01 a.m. CST

    (orak_uk) Penis Envy

    by Lord_Darth

    As for your information yes I think the original trek series was shit. If I think something is shit I will say it is shit. No matter if it is something I used to like or not. And that is why Star Trek (ToS) was canned. I havent mentioned Star Trek in any of my posts on this talkback so what would it have to do with the state Crusade is in today?----------- Quit defending Crusade with attacks on Star Trek.---------- For some of you this is the easiest way to vent frustration. But to me it sounds like you have Penis Envy.

  • Feb. 12, 1999, 7:31 p.m. CST

    B5, The Crusade, and recent ST series

    by PhelanKell

    Give the Crusade a chance! Remember that Season 1 of B5 took awhile to get going. Also, I'll take any episode of B5 over any episode of the recent Star Trek series, or the past two movies. The problem with new ST, is that by the time they are fininshed telling you (i.e. "If we....")they would allready be dead. At least in B5 they try to envolve laws of physics, and not some new tachyon this or that b.s.. Anyway, I'm just trying to say, give the Crusade a chance, it may not be great at first, but with jms's envolvement, it will surely improve. To you lovers of the recent ST shows, if it wasn't for original ST, and movies 1-4, there most likely would never have been a ST:TNG.

  • Feb. 13, 1999, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Lord Darth The Waster

    by orac_uk

    Well Darth, that hast to be the worst reply I have ever had to a posting! You are simply a waster for slagging off Crusade before you have seen a single episode!!! Sorry about accusing you of being a Trekkie, just your brain dead responses were typical of the average teenage trekker.

  • Feb. 13, 1999, 2:33 p.m. CST


    by Paul T. Ryan

    Just wanted to say how SICK TO DEATH I am of all this petty bashing of Crusade by people who haven't even seen it yet. For God's sake, give it a chance before you condemm it to hell. Its people like you who give all SF fans a reputation as sad nerds whose social life barely extends to going to the video store.

  • June 7, 1999, 12:31 a.m. CST

    Crusade/Star Trek Bashers

    by GabbytheBard

    Hey, what is with all the Crusade and Star Trek bashing? For one thing, you can't bash a show before you've seen it. I wasn't all that impressed with B5 when I first started watching. It took time for me to get into the story, but now I think it's some of the best sci-fi I've ever seen. I'm sure that given the chance by TNT or the Sci-Fi Channel, Crusade will deliver as well as B5 did. And just because B5 is so great doesn't automatically mean the Star Trek sucks. The premise and styles of these two series are so totally different, there's no comparing them. One liking one doesn't cancel out or discredit the other. I happen to be a huge fan of both B5 AND Star Trek!!! With some fantasy thrown in (i.e. Hercules The Legendary Journeys and Xena Warrior Princess). My house is a shrine to all of these shows! That is the problem with a lot of sci-fi fans, instead of lifting the genre up, you tear it down with all the show bashing. "My show is better than your show! Blah Blah Blah!" Get a life and give Crusade a chance!

  • June 9, 1999, 11:59 a.m. CST


    by greaner

    Ain't sci-fi great! So are the comments about the futility of being critical of this or that sci fi show. I dont like all shows of anything but what I think has been happening is that normal ppl have become like the media ppl from over exposure to them and as most have noticed the medias mainly talk to fill up "dead air". My point. . well you don't have to be one of these "glass is half full" folks to just ignore the dud shows and not go on about what amounts to an opinion. At least thats my "long winded" opinion. Bad sci fi is better than anything else on the tube except good sci fi. Greaner